What’s Next

The cold weather is slowing the work down. I figure that, however, I can mount the pictures of butterflies in the living room. These butterflies (or so it says) were caught and mounted in 1855 & 1856. The frames seem to match that age. The pics are about 8 inches wide and 18 inches tall. Instead of putting them across from one another, I am putting one to the front on one side of the room and the other to the rear of that wall. With mirrors covering most of the remaining wall while sitting on the couch I can see both pictures and enjoy all the butterflies.

The round bird clock goes on the inside of the left back door. Every hour, on the hour, a different bird sounds off. Once you learn the calls of each bird you will know what time it is. This was a gift from my daughter-in-law. I am looking for a thermometer with a barometer to go on the inside of the other back door.

This should keep me busy for today. More later. Grand Maverick

house building vs. van building

Most carpenters who build a house use a plumb line and a level which work very nicely. The walls and floors are formed very easily. Do not expect this from a van. The walls are not plumb anywhere in the vehicle. The sides are bowed out, the ceiling is not even from side to side. The floor level depends on where the vehicle is parked. This yard is definitely a sloping one both front to back and side to side. All of this info made for interesting shelf construction. We put little shims under the braces for the shelves which brought them up to level. In the process I lost about an inch in shelf space but it looks great NOW. My carving friend has contacted to carve the spindles of the shelves. She just sold one of her canes for $100.00. One spindle will be oriental and another tropical as I have traveled in China and Honduras. There are 10 spindles in the construction of the shelves over the beds. You can now say, AWESOME.

A cold snap has slowed work. To fill the time I am sorting things into the places (I hope) that they will finally go. The bathroom has become a storage space. The new shelves help (for the meantime) to house items from the kitchen and office. Today, I signed up for “on-line banking” which should eventually help with so much paper work.

“SHINE, SHINE”, says the sun. So it is back to work.
More later. Grand Maverick


Packing stuff into small spaces is a challenge. The summer clothes I put into plastic grocery bags and stuffed them up over the cab. I made the beds 18 1/2″ off the floor so that one large plastic storage box and a small box would fit under. This was a brilliant idea until I discovered the wheel wells were in the middle of the area. So, the large boxes have been exchanged for smaller ones, even as small as show boxes. Yesterday, I went thru my photos and disposed of about 1/4th of a shoe box. Same for the out dated road maps.I think I will put the maps in quart fridge bags and store them in the passenger’s side door. Hopefully, I will have a fellow traveler whose job it will be to keep track of our progress {of lack of it}.

My cell phone just reminded me of a meeting in 1/2 hour. So this is all for now. More later.

Grand Maverick

Square Dowels

I found the square dowels. The ones I bought are about 3/8″ square. They work wonders as bumpers are the front of the shelves. I pre drill the holes first for the tiny screws. The round ones about the same size work will as tiny curtain rods for the windows. I fit them so tightly that I do not need screws. The curtain is a light weight lace so it works. I am now making an additional flannel curtain for the winter. I will put a layer of double bubble wrap against the glass, then the flannel with the lace showing to the room. It will be dark but warm.

The micro wave shelf is ready o mount It looks great..

More later. Grand Maverick

All Hallow’s Eve

Winter has warned us it is coming soon. I revved up the little heater last night and got a bit toasty and had to turn it down. Both shelves in the L/D/B room are now up with some stuff on them. They are very strong. We glued two sheets of 1/4″ ply together because one sheet had been stained & polyed. That gave is 1/2 ” .Then we put braces on the walls where the ribs of the vehicle are. We screwed every thing together. We even put some twine around so that when the glue set it would be in the correct place. We made a stripe for the front from 1×2 pieces with uprights at 17″ intervals. What is left to do: 1) screw the uprights to the ceiling, 2) cut and sew the ties that will go between the uprights so that stuff stays on the shelves and 3) screw in place the end pieces. This should not take much time.

Also, we have begun work on the microwave space. We found an older 3/4″ ply board in the shed. It had beautiful grain so we cut it to size and put 2 (some times 3) coats of poly on it. We put braces up also; one at the back and 2 from the side walls – pantry and office. This should keep it in place and at the correct height.

Tomorrow, I plan to go to Lowe’s to get some LED lights, screws and square dowels. I am finding the windows a bit drafty. So, I will make some winter window covers from a former bathrobe. This should do the trick.

More later. Grand Maverick…

New friend

After church today several of us went out to eat. We visited over pizza. The husband, John, works on the weekends at Lowes in the electric department. He knows a lot about LED lights which is one of the next things to put in the L/D/B room. especially he knows about LED rope lights with dimmers. What a find.
More later. Grand Maverick.

Windows in the bedroom/living room/dining room

The space is small. Each inch has to perform several functions. That is what the 69 1/2 inches x 72 inches x 63 inches is doing. The curtains are smart. I made them from an old lace curtain for the space next to the window. I recycled a piece of material that I have had over the years. It has been 1) curtains and bedspreads in a regular house, 2) pillow cases, 3) a runner for a dresser, 4) binding for a comforter, 5) etc. I made two comforters for the “twin” beds from a comforter that started out life as a King size comforter then a Queen size. It is green on one side and plaid on the other. The pink/rose paisley design of the wayward material makes a binding that goes well on the spread.

Today we are working on the shelfs that are to be installed over the beds. This should give me considerable more storage space. The underside is Pickled Oak the same as the ceiling with the top side being painted Plum Red. Red is the accent color for the room. The bed legs are red.

My plan is to put some mirrors on the walls to make the room appear to be much larger that it really is. We shall see how close I come to this.

My computer is still in my friend’s house and not in the RV. When I can get things cleared out and in much bigger order with the computer in its new office I will try to put some pictures on this blog.

More later. Grand Maverick.

On Again

Sorry about the 6 week break. Much had happened during that time. I left WI on October 1 heading south (well mostly south). I picked up my niece near Joliet, IL. It was nice having company and a second driver. We headed to Athens, AL thinking that we would drive straight through. However, shortly into KY we pulled over for some shut-eye.

We stopped at a Love’s Truck stop; took a potty break; locked the van doors and hit the bed. It was nice to have your own bed and not to have to look for a motel.

About 5 am we woke up and hit the road again. My hope was to arrive in Athens in time for a tai-chi class. We were on schedule until we ran into the traffic in Nashville.. Opps.Instead of a 9:15 arrival we made it at 10:15. We received a very warm welcome. I did not get to attend a class but got some more instructions. With practice I will get my 24 form yet.

Thursday afternoon was a day for catching up on some business about town.
Friday was a day for preparation for the Estate Sale which went well.
Saturday the sale started 11:am. Every thing sold including the house and the 46 guns.
Sunday was church day and visiting with church friends. This makes 4 days sleeping on the beds in the van. So far the design hold up to its potential. One fifteen Sunday afternoon we hit the road again going westward this time. We arrived in Searcy, AR about 10 pm. Again sleeping in the van which is becoming an RV.

Monday morning it was westward again, heading for Wolf City, TX. It looks more like a village than a city. We stopped for a short visit in Sulphur Springs to visit with my sister/Becky’s mother. David, my nephew and Becky’s brother has a guest room so Becky and I shared a bed. David add this room with its bath to his house so that their mother could have her own room when she was living with him and his son. She stayed with David and Michael until she had to go to the nursing home.

Tuesday was mostly spent visiting with my sister. Becky and I sat on the porch of the nursing home enjoying the wonderful weather. The sun was shining. The breeze was gentle. Becky and I think that she recognized Becky for a few short minutes.

Wednesday was another visit with Sis. The same situation. The weather was still beautiful which made visiting more pleasant. Northwest Texas is begining to look like Fall; less green with more brown. David and Michael took Becky and I out to a Chinese restaurant. This makes night in a genuine bed. We slept well.

Thursday began another travel day. We started in TX 11 taking up I-30 at Sulphur Springs headed through Little Rock, AR to Searcy, AR. Becky did most of the driving which was very helpful.

Friday afternoon we headed the van down AR67/167 to Little Rock to the bus station. We arrived early because we were not sure exactly the location of the station. We did have to search a bit before we found it. I was located on the feeder road and we could have pulled directly into it instead of turning on Roosevelt. We sat for about an hour people watching before the MegaBus arrived. For a new bus line (new to us) it is doing well. The bus was packed. After some time (30 minutes late) it left for Memphis and points north (like Chicago). I arrived back in Searcy about 7:30pm. The entire trip and been some adventure. Now its over. I am parked at a friend’s house and consider this my “winter” location – bed and all.

Since Saturday, the 10th until now I have been reintroducing my self to old friends and neighbors. Janet, my friend, has lived in Searcy for about 25 years. She has recently joined the workforce again even though she is in her 70s. Her oldest daughter has come home for an extended stay.She is sleeping on the couch She is looking for work. Also, she has a female friend who will be staying with her for some time.She is staying in the second bedroom. She is on disability. I am glad I have my own sleeping quarters. Both Lue (daughter) and Teresa (friend) have been helping me work some on the RV

Tomorrow, I will have been 3 weeks and 1 day since i left Wisconsin. Today the last few days we have been working on the curtains for the bedroom/living room/dining room windows. Tomorrow we hope to finish the shelves that go over the beds. We may even get tome wiring for the lights over the beds done. hope, hope.

This should catch you up on the news about the Grand Maverick. More later. GM


Public school started on Sept 2 this year. By Wisconsin law school must not start earlier than the day after Labor Day. Now my main helpers are no longer available. They were great for unloading and loading the plywood. They also stained and varnished the wood which now looks spectacular. This part of the build is complete.

Yesterday we had an abundance of sun rays. This gave me an opportunity to pull out the wood pieces for the bed. We had disassembled the beds for storage. Now it was time to check them out and reassemble them. I am making twin beds to be located at the back of the van/RV. This room will become a living room/dining room/bedroom. Lap seat belts (6) are to be installed so that six friends can also make trips with me Windows have already been installed near the head of the beds. I am sure the doggies will love those.

The foundation layer of the bed is 22″ wide with legs that are screwed to the floor and the back into the wall. The sliding layer fits on top of the foundation and is 24″ wide. Its legs have wheels on them. When it is extended with the six-inch extenders it makes a 30″ bed. This does not make a very large bed. However, it is fine for my doggies and me. I suppose, if one wanted, the bed sides could slide closer together to make a 60″ bed. This would eliminate the 12″ space between the sides which I use for a bathroom trip in the middle of the night. For some this would be a difficult choice.. either a larger bed or a trip space. Oh, well. that’s life.

More later. Grand Maverick

Geese on the wing

Several times this week I have heard geese flying south. With all the trees around the yard it made it hard to see them however, they were loud enough that there was no doubt that it was geese. Then there was a small gap in the trees, and sure enough, there they were, flying in their V shape.

For the build, we have finished the sheets of plywood. The next step in to make some patterns for the cuts. ALso, to re-shape the beds. It may take some time but it will keep the legs from moving.

It sound like the boys are about finished cooking supper, so I must go. More later. Grand Maverick.